London - Kevin Pietersen smashed a thrilling half-century to lead Surrey to a 10-run win over Essex in front of almost 24 000 fans at the Oval in the Twenty20 Blast on Wednesday in an explosive return to English cricket.
The 37-year-old hit four sixes in an over on his way to 52 off 35 balls in a Surrey total of 150 for nine. In reply, Essex were restricted to 140 for seven.
Pietersen, who suffered a calf injury which prevented him from fielding, was playing his first English domestic match for nearly two years.
He had a lucky escape in the 10th over when he was dropped by Dan Lawrence off Ashar Zaidi and added 43 with Dominic Sibley.
Pietersen was eventually out in the 16th over, three balls after reaching his 40th half-century in T20 cricket.